Assistance with employee management, grievance and dispute handling
WEIR Consulting provides excellence in Workplace Services
Weir supports businesses to ensure that policies, procedures and employee management decisions are procedurally fair, operate effectively and are technically sound for the regulatory environment. This helps minimise the chance of unreasonable outcome for employees or the organisation, and the related risk of adverse action, victimisation or administrative review claims. Deploying the assistance of Weir Consulting to conduct processes and also train staff appropriately with early workplace mediation or facilitated discussion intervention may avoid the escalation of issues. Early management of interpersonal issues, insubordination or resistance to management direction can avoid the need for comprehensive workplace investigation and may reduce the incidence, duration and potential poor outcomes for both staff members and the business.
Weir Workplace Services include workplace investigation, training, industrial audit, policy review, workplace mediation, workplace conflict resolution, facilitation, culture review and human resource management. Weir also provides assistance with performance management systems, case management, governance and fraud and corruption prevention , including investigations regarding employee public interest disclosure and claims for whistleblower protection. Some of these services are detailed below, and you may wish to contact us to explore your specific workplace needs.
Weir offers comprehensive workplace investigation services to all employment sectors.
When a business is faced with a serious misconduct allegation, a workplace investigation is recommended, and in some instances, required. Unless you are experienced and have plenty of time on your hands, conducting an investigation internally is often asking for trouble.
By using an external, independent investigator from WEIR, you avoid major risks associated with ensuring effective workplace investigations process. You will be provided with a report which is impartial, adheres to the principles of procedural fairness and natural justice, and thoroughly assesses the evidence available to determine whether or not the allegations are substantiated.
WEIR’s investigators have years of experience and have dealt with employee related investigations of all types, for SME’s, insurers, corporations and the public sector.
From the time you receive a report, complaint or grievance, we can assist in: assessing the matters raised; ensuring that allegations are appropriately formulated; identifying and complying with any required processes; and conducting a fair, impartial and procedurally fair investigation.
We have a multidisciplinary team and easy access to external support to ensure expert attention as required. For example some investigations rely upon the use of computer forensics, accounting audit, leave management systems or handwriting analysis.
Workplace investigations conducted by our consultants have included:
- Different types of serious misconduct allegations, including employee fraud, workplace violence, insubordination and negligence, and other conduct that may if substantiated, support grounds for termination of employment. The private sector will be guided by the definition of serious misconduct in the Fair Work Act and Regulations (Reg 1.07). Federal (Public Service Act) and state governments have different requirements for managing public sector misconduct, policy on investigation, decision making and appropriate action.
- Workplace bullying, including extensive investigation of workplace bullying in NSW
- Regulatory claims of unsatisfactory professional conduct and professional misconduct
- Harassment, sexual misconduct and sexual harassment in the workplace
- Code of conduct and other policy breach
- Nepotism (favouritism based on relationships, friendship or other collectives)
- Theft of intellectual property
- Industrial and IT sabotage by disgruntled employees
- Investigation of alleged misconduct and other employee behaviours in accordance with the Government Sector Employment Act (GSE) and related legislation
- Grievance complaint handling and investigation
- Public Interest Disclosures and allegations of maladministration, serious and substantial waste and corrupt conduct, both on behalf of public sector organisations and referral by the NSW Ombudsman and ICAC
- Employee fraud
- Malicious and vexatious complaints
- Compliance complaints related to award breach, underpayment, failure to provide employee entitlements and breach of the National Employment Standards (NES)
If you think there are circumstances in your workplace that require investigation or would just like to receive some guidance about steps your organisation may need to take, please do not hesitate to contact us. WEIR can also help you to train your staff to carry out more effective formal and informal internal investigations.
Strategic Human Resource management depends on developing and implementing activities that build individual and organisational performance. Research shows that individuals perform best when they have the ability, motivation and opportunity to perform their work. Linked to this is empirical evidence that suggests an organisation’s performance in the market place is reliant on building human capital (what employees know and can do that is valuable to an organisation) and social capital (relationships and networks among employees and groups that create value to the organisation), which are both linked to building organisational cultures of trust and fairness.
WEIR offers training that can build both individual employee’s ability or human capital, and, social capital and cultures of trust and fairness by providing managers and employees with knowledge and skills in areas such as:
- Conflict management;
- Managing misconduct;
- Conducting workplace investigations;
- Code of Conduct training;
- Performance management; and
- Managing ill and injured employees.
Industrial Audit & Policy Review
The 3 most common complaints received by the Fair Work Ombudsman in 2013-14 concerned unpaid wages, underpayment and complaints about wages and conditions. The FWO recovered $23 million in back payments from employers in that year. Employers cannot afford to be vague about the awards or agreements which apply to their staff or the requirements of State and Federal legislation. We can conduct an audit to ensure that you are compliant.
Are your policies up to date and do they cover the key issues such as bullying, discrimination and harassment, managing ill and injured employees, work health and safety, use of social media, code of conduct, drugs and alcohol, grievances, workplace surveillance, and handling of misconduct? Are your policies exposing you to risk because they are incorrect, fail to address essential issues or increase your level of obligation to employees?
We can review your existing policies, identify gaps and update them to best practice.
Mediation & Conflict Resolution
Conflict in the workplace can create stress, high employee turnover and high costs in terms of managers’ time and employee payouts. Employees impacted by conflict have lowered job performance, motivation and productivity; conflict that goes unmanaged can lead to whistleblowing allegations, dismissals and legal action.
We offer mediation services and conflict coaching to help employers deal with these concerns.
Mediation is a process in which the participants, with the support of the mediator, identify issues, develop options, consider alternatives and make decisions about future actions and outcomes. The mediator acts as a third party to support participants to reach their own decision (NMAS definition). WEIR mediators are accredited and understand the particular dynamics of workplace conflict.
Conﬂict coaching is a one-on-one process in which a trained coach helps individuals gain increased competence and conﬁdence to manage and engage in their interpersonal conﬂicts and disputes. It is a future-focused and results –oriented process. A trained conflict coach can help an individual or team develop “conflict competence” for the future as well as deal with existing conflict.
Workplace Culture Reviews
Workplace culture can be defined as the values, attitudes, behaviours and norms that characterise a workplace. Your organisation’s workplace culture is increasingly important to give you a competitive edge. The right kind of culture can increase sustainability, innovation, teamwork and productivity; the wrong kind can lead to grievances, poor performance, absenteeism and dysfunction.
WEIR can assist you to improve your workplace culture by adopting best practice methods and implementing evidence-based initiatives. We do this by undertaking a detailed examination of organisational history, relationships, systems and structures.
Human Resource Management
There is a body of research that shows there is a causal link between Human Resource policy and organisational performance.
This is particularly the case when dealing with workplace bullying, where the approach of HR to early intervention and appropriate management will be critical. Workplace bulling is a high focus area given recent cases and workplace bullying compensation payouts.
The work of Wright and Nashii shows that there can be a gap between intended HR practice, actual practice and perceived practice which is damaging to employee attitudes and behaviours and impacting on an organisation’s performance.
WEIR consultants can help review your HR practice, assist you with day to day tasks on an as needs basis to help you develop appropriate human resources for your business.
Why might you need a facilitator?
A skilled facilitator can help make crucial meetings more productive; coordinate a meeting between stakeholders and help them to negotiate an issue; or run any kind of group process to ensure that there is effective participation, mutual understanding and shared responsibility for the outcome.
The facilitator will work with you to design the process to suit your event and then guide the group to an effective result. He or she will ensure that decisions and questions are properly recorded and actioned.
Performance Management Systems
We all understand the utility in having a robust Performance Management System (PMS). At WEIR Consulting we can help to develop and implement a tailored PMS that meets your needs.
An appropriate PMS will provide a sound framework from which to address poor or unsatisfactory performance.
We have a number of tools that will assist line managers and HR practitioners to address these situations. These tools ensure employees are given a structured opportunity to understand and address performance issues whilst creating sound documentation which will underpin future decisions.
The tools include various templates and forms and practical checklists and guidance on how to counsel an employee, setting standards and having those difficult discussions where performance is unsatisfactory.
Employers can face protracted, complex and challenging situations with some employees. These situations can be long term , difficult to resolve and normally resource intensive without getting substantial results. At WEIR Consulting we can:
- provide practical ongoing advice and guidance to manage and address specific situations
- triage and assess situations and develop targeted actions to achieve a resolution
- investigate and report on an external complaint
- undertake a risk assessment and identify strategies to eliminate or mitigate the risks identified in a case
- prepare appropriate records and documents centred on a specific case
- provide one on one coaching and guidance to individual managers.
WEIR Consulting has a number of experienced consultants who can work closely with line managers and HR practitioners to ensure individual cases are managed effectively.